Locket, the popular photo-sharing app right on your family and friends’ home screen, has raised $12.5 million in funding. The app climbed to the top of the App Store charts after launching on the first day of this year and has since been downloaded over 20 million times. Locket’s simple premise of putting live photos of your friends and family on your desktop epitomizes a private social networking platform that aims to help you feel closer to your loved ones. Since its launch, Locket has shared over 1 billion photos.
The app was founded by Matt Moss, a former Apple Worldwide Developer Conference Fellow and recent UC Santa Barbara graduate. Moss originally created Locket as a personal side project for his girlfriend to capture and share with her the real moment of his day. Moss’ friends asked if they could use the app with their friends and family, after which Moss made Loket public on Apple App Store and on google play store soon after.
Moss told TechCrunch in an interview that he believes traditional social media platforms are designed to share content with hundreds of your closest friends, and can also create problems like focusing too much on counting likes or constantly scrolling through endless feeds. Locket, on the other hand, is designed to make people feel closer to the 10-15 people in their lives that matter the most, while at the same time providing an easy release from doom scrolling and algorithmic feeds. The widget lets you add up to 20 people to your desktop, and Moss says that number is a natural limit to Locket’s core premise of focusing on your closest connections.
As for the new funding, Moss says Locket plans to use the money to hire more people and introduce new features while staying true to its core premise: helping users feel closer to their loved ones, best friends and family.
“It was exciting to see the product resonate with people, but going forward we have an even bigger opportunity to be a better way for people to stay connected to the 10-15 people that matter most,” Moss said. “The main incentive for funding is really just to speed up; it will just allow us to hire more people and continue to deliver new features and become a product that is the best way to stay in touch with your close friends and family.”
Moss says that in the coming months, Locket plans to launch new features that will be in line with the core idea of sharing the little moments of your day with the people you love. Among the new features will be new ways to react to photos. Overall, Moss says the new features will focus on making users’ home screens look more dynamic and personal. The company is also in the early stages of launching a subscription model, but is currently focused on building new features.
The company’s $12.5 million investment consists of two funding rounds. The company raised $2.5 million when Locket first prepared to launch in January 2022 after a small round of friends and close contacts. Locket then raised $10 million in seed funding in late April in a round led by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. The round included existing investors Sugar Capital and Costanoa Ventures, as well as Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo.
Asked if Locket plans to add filters or effects to his camera, Moss said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for that. He believes it’s important for people to feel free to capture their true selves, and that the best way to do this is with a simple camera.
Moss says he believes Locket can help make phones more personal for users by ensuring their loved ones are front and center on their devices.
“I think phones have been pretty impersonal for a long time as everyone opens up their phone to the same generic apps. I think we have the ability to flip this around so that the phone feels like a place where your loved ones are at the center. This is a long-term vision that we are guided by, especially at a time when many social networks shun content from your friends and keep up with the people you really care about. But people will always have a natural need to feel closer to their loved ones.”
Moss’s comments about social media platforms shunning content from friends come at a time when Instagram faces backlash for its gradual transition from a place where users could basically view photos of their friends and family to an app filled with recommended posts and videos in an attempt to compete with TikTok. Moss says that as social media platforms shift their focus away from prioritizing friend and family content, this gives Locket even more room to grow and choose for users who want to feel connected to their loved ones.
Moss says it’s important for Locket to stay true to what makes it great, which is capturing and sharing authentic moments with your loved ones. The company’s next step will be what it calls a “natural extension” of the app, which will allow people to get more content from the people they care about.
Credit: techcrunch.com /